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Everton 0 - 4 Liverpool: Match Review

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A defensive horror show from Everton gives Liverpool a clear and comfortable victory at Anfield.

Laurence Griffiths

Both teams came in to this derby with injuries causing them problems, but Everton were to spring a surprise with the timely returns of Barkley and Pienaar to boost their hopes. Sylvain Distin and Seamus Coleman were still absent, so John Stones came in at right back and Antonlin Alcaraz partnered a fit Phil Jagielka in central defence. Romelu Lukaku also returned upfront in place of Steven Naismith.

Liverpool meanwhile were missing several defenders, so named the same team that drew with Aston Villa except for John Flanagan coming in at right back, to replace Glen Johnson. Raheem Sterling and Daniel Sturridge started on the wings with Luis Suarez up front and Kolo Toure and Martin Skrtel continuing their partnership at center back.

Only a minute in Barkley announced his return with a thunderous drive that flew past the post with Jordan Henderson then forcing a comfortable save for Tim Howard. The American was soon in action again as Sterling forced Jagielka into a mistake and Suarez lashed it at goal, but Howard was equal to it, turning it around the post. Another important save would follow in 17th minute as Sterling got through and the American stood strong and tall to deny him.

The opener soon followed, and predictably it was Steven Gerrard to give it to Liverpool thumping home a header from Suarez's corner, James McCarthy failing to prevent it going past him on the line. The bad news continued as Lukaku was forced off with an ankle injury to be replaced by Steven Naismith. Everton soon rallied, and following a poor corner Jagielka forced a save from Mignolet, Barry then shooting wide from an acute angle. Mirallas would then come a whisker away from leveling the scores shaving the post with a daisy cutter of an effort.

At this point, all of Roberto Martinez's nightmares came true. Liverpool broke quickly and Sturridge found himself free from a Coutinho pass to comfortably finish past Howard to put Liverpool two clear. The third then came quickly after, a simple long ball finding Sturridge again and he lobbed Howard to put the hosts clear with barely thirty minutes played and the game looking to be a serious horror show.

Everton started the second half with a change, Leon Osman replacing Steven Pienaar, who hadn't had the best of halves to say the least, and he would force Mignolet into a fine save. That man Luis Suarez soon had Liverpool four up though, capitalizing on Jagielka's mistake and running the whole length of the Everton half and slotting excellently past Howard and nobody could argue it was a fine goal. It wasn't going to end there though, Sterling getting a penalty from Howard only for Sturridge to fire over and deny himself a hat trick.

That goal killed the game from there, with Everton having a couple of chances that were never going to cause Mignolet trouble and Sturridge refusing to return the ball to Suarez and firing over instead at the other end, an effort that caused a row between the two forwards and soon had the England man leaving the field to be replaced by Victor Moses. Aiden McGeady then replaced Barkley with fifteen minutes remaining and McCarthy close to finding Naismith following neat footwork in the box, Moses firing into the side netting at the opposite end.

There would be very little action after that, a corner from Mirallas coming to nothing and Everton keen to get out of Anfield as quickly as they could. A horrific defensive display the cause of this defeat then, though credit must go to the quality of finishing from their opponents.